Your Gift Helps the Library Create Access to Technology
A message from Executive Director Jenni Jeffress
“Despite the impression that everyone is connected to the internet these days, Madison Public Library’s computers are especially important to schoolchildren, job seekers and marginalized populations.”
— Greg Mickells, Madison Public Library Director
Technology is a key area of funding for Madison Public Library Foundation. Donors support a wide range of Madison Public Library’s technology, from audio books and DVDs to internet connectivity and media workshops. Digital access is a growing part of the library’s budget, and the foundation depends on you to deliver technology and programs that support digital learning. Each year, your gift helps us accomplish this.
We invite you to make a gift to the annual fund today to support the library’s effort to advance technology, educational programming, collections and much more. A donor has pledged up to $50,000 to match all annual fund gifts dollar for dollar. Give by DECEMBER 31 to double your contribution.
You are a Steward/ Patron/ First time donor, supporting our libraries through substantial giving each (last) year. Your gift funds essential library programs that would not happen without donor contributions. This includes work to tackle the digital divide and create equal access to technology.
The Wi-Fi and internet connection at the library is free and open to all. Just under 10 percent of the low-income population — 14,000 homes — lacks access to the internet in Dane County.
Another way the library shares technology is through educational programming. This summer, the library’s Media Lab offered Pic Flicks, an eight-week photography program held at Goodman South Madison Library for middle- and high-schoolers to learn how to use photography as a positive form of self-expression. In A Bucky Remix, teens made photography collages of all the Bucky on Parade statues around the city, and in A Few Good Men, participants captured landmarks on Madison’s south side.
The class was taught by teen photographer Amadou Kromah, who harnessed his photography skills in early Media Lab programs. Mr. Kromah has become a professional photographer, with clients who include Overture Center for the Arts. This year, he was a finalist in the NAACP’s 2018 Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics, or ACT-SO, and is a great source of pride for the library’s Media Lab.
Melissa, a library page, witnesses the need for the library’s technology resources firsthand. “Patrons do not have access to a computer at home, so they will come and pull up their email and read it, and maybe they need to print coupons, or print court documents, or fill out job applications. We also have people who are writing books, so they come and use a laptop or a desktop at the library.”
The library shares some technology basics with community centers through its popular Maker Kits. The Coding Kit uses ozobots, which are tiny robots that allow learners to break down code into its simplest form without the use of any screen. Using colored markers, youth draw different patterns on large sheets of paper that tell their ozobot to turn left, spin, speed up or crash into a tower of blocks. These kits are free to community centers and support ongoing learning after school.
We hope you see the great value that access to technology provides for the Madison community. Whether it is someone working on an unemployment form, discovering how to edit digital photos or learning how to create coding, the library has so much technology to share with the public.
Thank you for caring about Madison’s libraries. We truly appreciate your commitment to libraries and literacy. We hope you will add your support again this year so that your gift will be matched through our annual fund challenge.
P.S. Are you a loyal foundation donor? Consider including us in your will, or as a beneficiary of your 401K or life insurance. Call us at 608.266.6318 to discuss benefits or for more information.